‘Larger than life kind a guy’: KCFD Captain Bobby Rocha, who died from COVID-19, laid to rest

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Last week Captain Robert “Bobby” Rocha lost his life to the coronavirus.

Monday morning his funeral was held at McGilley Funeral Home in Kansas City.

Due to Kansas City’s current COVID-19 guidelines, the service was closed to the public, and only 10 people were allowed inside the funeral home.

Nevertheless, hundreds gathered to pay their respects. Firefighters and family members lined the streets from McGilley Funeral Home to Mount Olive Cemetery where the Graveside service took place.

Rocha’s sister Terri Rocha McWilliams said he was a hero.

“Know Bob as a loving caring strong gentle ultra friendly superhero,” McWilliams said.

Fire Chief Donna Lake said to know Bobby was to love Bobby.

“Larger than life kind a guy. He, you know, was the kind of person that you could spend five minutes talking to and probably make a friend for life,” Lake said.

Unlike other professions, firefighters spend a third of their life living with their coworkers.

Lake says, the fireman’s schedule creates a familial bond. 

“Spending the night with them you’re eating all your meals with them, going to the grocery store, all the things that you would do with your spouse or your own family then, you’re right you become one big family.“ Lake, said.

Though Rocha is gone from the force, his son Riley carries on his legacy as a KCFD firefighter.

“Because of the man Bob was, Riley wanted to be just like him which is the very reason why Riley became a fire fighter the bond they shared on the fire department was truly remarkable working the same shift in the same district fighting fires and saving lives side-by-side,“ McWilliams, said.

Rocha is one of three Kansas City fire department members, who have died from the virus this year. 

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